Witchy Beauty and the Wellness Conundrum!

Not too long ago it came to my attention that Sephora plans to release a "witchy" themed perfume set, just in time for Halloween. The $42 "Starter Witch Kit", as it's so called, made by perfume brand Pinrose, includes 9 perfume samples, as well as a rose quartz crystal, a sage smudge stick, and a tarot deck, and has caused quite a bit of controversy among social media users over the last few days.

In all probability, the vast majority of beauty consumers wouldn't bat an eyelid when presented with this kit whilst perusing the physical or virtual beauty isles: they'd most likely classify it as yet another novelty item and go about their business, especially in this day and age, when we've seen it all. Most would probably even argue that "witchy stuff is bullshit anyways" - to a whole community, however, that is certainly not the case. I don't claim, of course, to be speaking on behalf of any community or particular group of people, but as an avid beauty lover, as well as a novice witch, such a release makes me wonder if beauty brands have perhaps taken it a little too far.

Witchcraft is such a complex topic to present and analyze, and even attempting to would far exceed the purposes of this blog, it is, however, a spiritual practice, linked often, although not exclusively to various pagan and occult religions. Witchcraft practitioners believe in energy manipulation under a specific intent in order to bring about a desirable outcome, and incorporate that into their day-to-day lives. Many use various tools and items that pertain to their craft (others, not so much) and it's up to the individual to decide which types of material aids they need, so you'll rarely find two practitioners with the exact same set of tools. And much like in most religions and spiritual practices, such objects are not decorative items: practitioners attribute meaning to them and use them to bridge the gap between the physical and the metaphysical.

To make a long story short: witchcraft tools are serious business to those who use them, not some cool-looking accessory to add to your side table, and the inclusion of such items to a beauty set is downright questionable, if not disrespectful. Let's take a moment and picture a beauty brand offering a bible and a rosary with their hand creams - no one in their right minds would release that, would they?

The analogy is not fair, I know: crystals and tarot cards do not carry the heavy religious symbolism of say crosses or menorahs, but there's definitely more to them than a cute aesthetic, and while I must admit that there's no real danger from dipping your toes into witchcraft through some rose quartz and some sage, do not mistake these for toys, either. Some argue that this is a great opportunity for those interested in witchcraft to acquire a few first items, and that this is a positive step to dispel the prejudices linked with witches and allow them to gain wider recognition, and I would support that if only this kit was better executed: haphazardly gathering some random items together and wrapping them in multi colored pastel packaging almost beg to not be taken seriously.

I wouldn't be such a negative Nancy and I'd be willing to give this Pinrose company the benefit of a doubt, if two more things hadn't come to my attention: 1. the cover of the tarot deck, and, 2. a particular symbol added in the artwork. Apparently, the cover is almost an exact copy of "The Old Memories Tarot" by Tarocco Studio with minor alterations, and the sigil looking symbol is Prince's trademarked titular symbol from his "Love Symbol" album. Cue receipts!

Pinrose, would you like to explain this, please?

Now, Pinrose is not exactly the first (and I bet won't be the last) to combine beauty and wellness items together: Fourth Ray Beauty, Colorpop's sister skincare brand came out recently with a $150 Ritual Box that contains candles, crystals and a sage stick, along with various other skincare and bodycare products and accessories, and Anthropologie and Herbivore Botanicals have distinct wellness sections on their online stores. 

Let's be frank: wellness is a massive lifestyle trend at the moment and all the more people are making a conscious effort to live mindfully, in concordance with nature, while trying to eliminate the affects of everyday stressors such as toxins and overall negativity, and introduce more joy and light into their lives, and rightfully so. And where there's demand, as we all know, supply will undoubtedly follow, but that's where the danger lies: what is now an inner need to declutter, simplify and heal, can easily end up being just another facet of our consumerist culture. 

I'm not insinuating that the woo-woo stuff should only be left to the "initiated" few by any means, but I do feel that consumers should be making more educated choices, even more so now that New Age stuff are becoming mainstream. I do not object a beauty brand selling me wellness items (in fact it was a pleasant surprise to see Herbivore carry some stuff), just as long as they're not shoving any particular spirituality down my throat or ascribing labels or even deciding what a starter anything needs or doesn't need! Personally, I'd like to keep my beauty items separate from my spiritual tools, and if, and when I choose to combine them, it would be up to me, not because a brand deemed it a good idea (unless we're talking crystal infused beauty products, which is a whole other concept, and should be met with the corresponding weightiness). 

EDIT: On September 5th, Pinrose released a statement, apologizing, and letting the public know that they won't be manufacturing this product or making it available for sale. As for the artwork, Pinrose claims that the artwork used in the kit was purchased earlier in the year, and that the Print Usage License covers use on products for resale and never expires. 

I'd like to read your thoughts, as well! Where do you stand on this?

What's your opinion?

Thank you for stopping by!